Report by Suchismita Sahoo; Bhubaneswar: A New Born Care Unit was inaugurated at Capital Hospi">
Government of Orissa committed to reduce child mortality says minister
Friday, February 13, 2009
Government of Orissa committed to reduce child mortality says minister

Report by Suchismita Sahoo; Bhubaneswar: A New Born Care Unit was inaugurated at Capital Hospital by Mr Sanatan Bisi, Minister of Health & FW here today. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bisi said the Government is committed to reduce child mortality. Child Health is a focus area and utmost importance is being given for reducing Infant and Child morbidity and mortality. Besides RCH, the Government in its bid to combat the situation has launched IMR Mission in 2001 and Navajyoti in 2005 which resulted in reducing IMR from 87 in 1995 to 71 in 2007. But establishing Special New Born Care Unit is an important strategy to reduce neonatal mortality, which accounts for about 66% of infant deaths. Moreover, a number of initiatives have been launched under the National Rural Health Mission, namely implementation of Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses, Village Health and Nutrition Day, Pustikar Divas, Nutritional Rehabilitation Centres, Skilled Attendance at Birth, Routine Immunisation, Measles Control, Malaria Control among pregnant women and Infants and Prevention of Parent to Child transmission HIV.
Mr Bisi further added that the three major causes of death amongst neonates being low birth weight, low body temperature and infections, provision of care in the Special New Born Care units enhances the chances of survival of the premature and low birth weight babies. New born corners are being established in all the institutions conducting deliveries, SNCU level I at the Block PHCs and CHCs and SNCU level II at the Sub Division, District Head quarter hospitals and Medical colleges. Districts with high IMR are being given priority. 6 Level II SNCUs are already functioning in Mayurbhanj and Koraput districts. 11 more SNCU IIs are being set up in the current financial year in 3 Medical Colleges, Capital Hospital, Rayagada, Balasore, Puri, Keonjhar, Sonepur, Anugul and Sambalpur districts.
Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses is also an important intervention to reduce neonatal and infant deaths at the community level. IMNCI is being implemented in 16 high IMR districts. ANMs and AWWs have been trained to identify, treat and refer neonates and infants with critical ailments. 3 Nutrition rehabilitation Centres are being set up in Koraput, Mayurbhanj and Kalahandi districts to treat the severely malnourished children informed Mr Bisi.  
UNICEF has been a valued partner in supporting child health activities in the state. Though there has been a significant reduction in the Infant Mortality over the past few years, a lot of challenges remain. Government of Orissa is committed to making all efforts to reduce child mortality. To accelerate the maternal and child survival initiatives  State and District  Maternal and Child Survival Cells have been established with additional human resources, Mr Bisi said.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms Karin Hulshof Country Head of UNICEF said the IMR mission launched by the Orissa State Govt. in 2001 has been successful in reducing the IMR by 20 points by 2007. The complete immunization coverage in state has also risen from 53.5% to 62.4%. Lauding the excellent effort of the State Govt. in accelerating the implementation of IMNCI and SNCU, she assured UNICEF's full support to Orissa to make the goals of the National Rural Health Mission and the RCH program a reality.  She also acknowledged the partnership effort of the Govt. of India and Royal Govt. of Norway under the Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) that has catalyzed the implementation of various child survival interventions in the State.    With the establishment of these SNCUs, health workers at community level can now refer newborns in need to this facility-based newborn care unit, which would improve the newborns' chances of survival. Operationalization of the District-level Comprehensive Newborn Care model thus should be a priority, she added.
On this occasion Mr Bisi also released the Guide lines for PUSTIKAR DIWAS & MAMATA DIWAS , the strategic interventions to address malnutrition and health outcomes of children below 5 years & pregnant women with joint efforts of Health & FW and Women & Child Development Department .
Mrs Anu Garg, Commissioner-cum-Secretary Health & FW presided over the function .Among others Dr Mona Sharma Commissioner-cum-Secretary W&CD , Director Health Services Dr Sukadev Sethi , Director Family Welfare Dr Dusashan Muduli also spoke. Project Director NRHM Mr S.k.Lohani gave welcome address and CMO Capital Hospital Dr Umakant Mishra proposed vote of thanks.

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